UK conducted a series of workshop residencies in London (Brady Arts Centre), Liverpool
(LIPA and John Moore's University) and Guildford (Farnham, Farnborough and Godalming
Sixth Form Colleges) on Pandora's Box and sexual politics.
project come out of the “Twin Peaks” workshops directed by Enrique Pardo
in London (late 1999). With a wink at David Lynch, the idea refered to Tragedy
and Comedy, the two founding “peeks” of Western theatre, and through them, to
the extraordinary tragi-comic odd-couple formed by Euripides and Aristophanes.
London-based performance project, it explores the myths of Prometheus, with the
figure of Pandora (and her famous box) as central commentary.
was created as a tug-of-war between two not quite matched top-dogs: Zeus and Prometheus.
The latter, an upstart Titan, had been trying for some time to outwit the ruler
of Olympus. His rap was idealistic: he wanted to improve the condition of those
hard-working, earnest creatures called mankind. Zeus messed his plans up by creating
womankind. He had all the gods and goddesses pitch in with a gift and a curse
(Pan-dora means "all-gifted"); the result was a woman, beautifull but curious,
who took the lid off Prometheus' ideals (opened the famous Pandora's Box) and
supposedly ruined the goody-goody life of mankind.
are clearly not taking sides with Prometheus. Presented like this, the story could
be the feminist unmasking of those titanic robots stitched together by male romantic
ideologists: right and left-winged monsters who murdered millions in the name
of a better and cleaner future. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - but also Hitler,
Mussolini - as titanic children of Prometheus?
romantic idealism at core male "fore-thought"? (pro-metheus actually means "fore-thinking").
Goethe certainly took sides with Prometheus... Is this how so-called Good turns
into Evil? How the Spirit kills? Prometheus' megalomania is not unlike that of
his Biblical cousin, the Christian Christ: sacrificial heroes who wanted to ‘save'
humanity. Prometheus was chained to a Caucasian mountain where Zeus' eagle tore
out his liver and ate it, daily. Curiously, gossip also attaches a woman to the
Christian Christ: Mary Magdalene. And a jar! (a perfume jar in her case).
about Pandora? Is she only cute, kitsch and nasty - as professor Livernois (no
pun intended on Prometheus' liver) puts it: "a dumb bitch before she opened the
box - the comedy - a whinning bitch after she opened the box - the tragedy"? Contemporary
novelist Anne Rice has her as the ultimate sexy vampire. (Mind you, the title
of the biggest Sado-Masochist journal in the U.S. is called "Prometheus!)"
Are we dealing with the nemesis of Sophia Dominatrix - never quite killing the
case by suggesting there might still be some hope left? Or is she simply the superior
daughter of Aphrodite, bringing beauty and pleasure to this world, upsetting religious
and political joy-killers. Notice, again, that she is not unlike her biblical
cousin, Eve, responsable for the so-called "fall" of humanity.
impossible Pandora-Prometheus couple is in fact a ménage à trois,
a love triangle involving Prometheus' brother, Epimetheus, whose name means "after-thought":
his rationality comes after his impulses. He "falls" for Pandora. Or do we have
it all wrong? After all, Adam recieved a lesson in pleasure and knowledge from
Eve: who is now deriding Epimetheus for falling in love? I suspect yet another
"Pandora's Box" performance project will bring these issues and characters to
a head, with no easy answers. It will be a choreographic and imagistic prism through
which to look at different, and even opposing facets of the myth, including the
way it sufaces in contemporary events. The result on stage will be both lavishly
visual, pictorial, and literary. The notion of "choreographic theatre" applies
here first and foremost to how these disparate elements are put together on stage,
to how images and ideas, classical references and contemporary issues, physical
theatre and text, can dance together.
Pardo, 8 juin 2000
Angela Bullock is a performer and co-founder of Twisted Stocking. Angela specialised
in physical theatre and choreography for her degree at Dartington College of Art.
Twisted Stocking`s adventures have produced two touring productions: the psychedelic
Groove and the stark Exposure - highly adult, visual, argumentative
- and very female! More recently the company has successfully produced two T.I.E
projects where the children worked with a trained crew of artists mounting shows
in historical site-specific contexts: 1998 School Rules OK& 1999 Trials and
Zoe Crowder was born in Sussex in 1974, Zoe was educated at the Maechal Hall Rudolf
Steiner School, where she experienced enormous, idealistic pleasure in acting.
Two years as a receptionist in London clinched her career choice and three years'
training at the Cygnet Theatre followed. Zoe also runs workshops for children,
and is planning to study movement in Java.
Nick Galen is an actor, singer and writer. Pandora's Box is one of several
Pantheatre performance, workshop and festival projects he has been involved in
and he continues a long-standing programme of study with Enrique Pardo.
Faroque Khan is an actor / director / teacher of movement & theatre and an
accomplished martial artist. He comes from a Ugandan-Pakistani background and
is based in Glasgow. His work has taken him throughout Europe, Asia and America.
His teaching experience is considerable. Training includes a BA In Community Arts,
the Ecole Jacques Lecoq and Enrique Pardo & Pantheatre.
Kirsten McIver was born in Dunedin, Aotearoa. By the time she reached teenagehood
had travelled the extremities of her country's South Island, in the pursuit of
the study of life. On route she wrote poetry, worked in cafés, farms and
orchards. She was accepted for The New Zealand Drama School; Toi-Whakarri O and
graduated in1997. Kirsten currently facilitates workshops at St Bride's Community
Centre (Edinburgh), is devising a show with an unemployed group set to tour Primary
schools, and teaches drama classes at the acclaimed St Mary's Music School.
Daniel Skinner trained at The Speech School in Sussex which provided the ground
for a rigorous and inquiring approach to voice performance and performance text.
He is a founder member and artistic director of The Rose Theatre Company, and
has been touring internationally as an actor since 1989. Over the past five years
has been developing ways to work in theatre with the interior 'Other', giving
workshops in the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Australia, Canada and the USA. He is
currently studying for an M.Phil in Performance Studies at Dartington College
on the theme of multiple identity and shadow.